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The Daily Tar Heel

Huguenots craft shimmering pop

Carrboro fixtures The Huguenots has been rocking the Triangle since about 2008, spreading its brand of sunny, vintage-sounding pop and developing a reputation for its live shows.

Three years later, fans will finally be able to listen to the band not just live but whenever they want to with the much-anticipated release of The Huguenots’ self-titled debut.

From the first track, listeners will be reassured that a studio form of the band’s songs hasn’t dulled the group’s charisma or jangly electric guitars.

The upbeat album flows easily between ’60s retro pop guitar and Beatles-esque harmonies while reverberation and more in-your-face electric rock give the band a modern touch.

But whether it’s a doowop kind of melody or a quick guitar lick that makes you want to jump up and down in time to the beat, there’s nothing in the 40 minutes of music that will make you lose interest.

On “Julia,” The Huguenots aw-shucks its way through a romance-in-trouble, with swelling harmonies and guitars backed with earnest vocals. And “I Would Say” keeps the Fab Four stylings coming with a shimmering, layered mass of tambourines and fuzzy and twanging guitars.

Contrast it to songs like “She Keeps Moving,” which goes light on the harmonies and heavy on echoey reverb with over-enuciated vocals that seem to be trying for stadium-rock.

Or the jarringly off-kilter falsetto and chugging guitar in “Changing Ways.” It’s clear The Huguenots can make both styles equally appealing and engaging.

And with such a sunny-sounding disposition, The Huguenots’ sharp lyrics such as, “She’ll be taking off her dress tonight / But you won’t be the one who says goodnight” on “Your Little Nothing,” pop even more.

The group may provide plenty of good vibes and the desire to bob your head in time to its beats, but hints of rock star attitude and world-weariness will keep you from shrugging The Huguenots off as just another happy, naïve pop band.

Yet the charm and allure with which these themes are presented won’t turn you (or the album) off for a second.

Hopefully such a solid first record will give The Huguenots the momentum and reception needed to keep fans from suffering another album drought.

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